Step One: Make sure at least one of the Spawn is napping, visiting a friend or otherwise out of your hair.
Why, whatever do you think we are celebrating today, Dear Reader?
Step Two: Make final check on materials and reagents. Run to store to get the remaining critical items. Sing loudly to your favorite ethnic folksongs to get in the mood.
stay tuned, Dear Reader, stay tuned...
soooo, take your corned beef and throw in in pot. This part is stone simple. Add a dozen peppercorns, about a half a head of garlic and carrots. I like the carrots in this but I take some exceptions to the rest of what starts out as a traditional "New England Boiled Dinner" (if you have Joy of Cooking, that has a recipe). Stud a couple of onions with cloves (my base protocol, from The New Basics Cookbook, Rosso and Lukins, is far too conservative with the cloves.). Liberally. Fill to over the whole mess with water and bring it to a boil.
Make first attempt to pour a Black & Tan, screw it up, as usual.
Once pot is boiling, reduce to simmer for something around about 3-4 hours. You will be fork-testing for tenderness in the last hour or so. Also, you might keep an eye on the pot and turn your corned beefs (if you stick two of them in there) over each hour or so.
Meanwhile....the part that makes boring old corned beef into something special...in this case Ruby Cumberland sauce which you will use to glaze the meat. (Oh, Isis, you haven't lived my skeptical friend...)
Take a medium saucepan into which you will pour 2 c of red currant jelly, 1/2 c ruby port wine, the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange, 1/2 c finely chopped shallots, 1 Tblsp dry mustard, 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger and then salt and pepper to taste.
simmer that, stirring frequently, until the jelly is melted. let stand at least 30 min.
Run out to play with the family for a couple of hours (after checking to make sure the pot isn't going to boil over..
Might as well meet a semi-historical rogue while you are at it..
Now, certain muppethuggers require fancy-schmancy mustard to serve with the corned beef. And this is okay for amateurs. Otherwise known as recipe-war-losers. If you want to create a little something extra...
1/2 c prepared horseradish and 1/2 c mayo in a bowl. Add 2 Tblsp Dijon, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper and mix well.
Note homage to dear old PhysioProf's Recipe War, I'm back on the brussel sprouts thanks entirely to one of his recipes. Thanks holmes!
In separate bowl whip 3/4 c whipping cream to soft peaks and fold into the horseradish. Place in serving bowl(s). (It will look like too much by you may find out it is not!)
Round about 3 1/2 hours into simmering, you will turn the oven to 350 F and start checking the corned beef for tenderness. At this point it is a bit of a preference thing but you definitely want it on the tender side. Slide that baby into a roasting pan once it is just theeees much less tender than you like. You know that whole grain mustard the PP was sneering at? Spread about a half cup over the corned beef. Actually the amount just depends on your beef- just cover it in a thin layer. Pour about 2 c of the glaze over the beef and then take about a half cup of brown sugar and pack it down over the top. Throw that bad boy in the oven and start glazing! Take a look every 15 min or so and baste the top with the glaze. If you are actually going to boil potatoes you can bring the pot back to a boil and throw in the spuds. Roasting vegetables? Now would be the time.
Oh, what the heck. Start singing this beautiful song to your loved ones, you can blame it on the second attempt to pour a Black & Tan (that you got about 3/4 right).
After about 45 minutes of glazing you should be done. So during this interval you can get the rest of the dinner together. One last shot at a Black & Tan. Thirty minutes in, you can bring the water you simmered your corned beef in back to a boil and cook that cabbage (wedges, please!) if you are only doing cabbage. Get your green vegetable going. (And for the parents, throw together whatever the little darlin' fussy eaters will actually choke down so you can sort of enjoy a family meal.)